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Pendergast Books in Order: How to read Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child series?

Do you know somebody called Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast?

What is the Pendergast series?

Written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, The Pendergast is about Aloysius Pendergast. He is a special agent with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and works out of the New Orleans branch.

Pendergast is a tall and eccentric man, but he is also highly intelligent and knowledgeable, a master of psychological manipulation, disguise, and improvisation. In his work, he investigates cases which interest him, especially the ones appearing to be the work of serial killers.

Pendergast Books in Order:

Pendergast appeared in several stand-alone novels and stars in two trilogies. Also, in the first two books, he was not the main protagonist of his series.

   

  1. Relic – Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…
  2. Reliquary – Hidden deep beneath Manhattan lies a warren of tunnels, sewers, and galleries, mostly forgotten by those who walk the streets above. When two grotesquely deformed skeletons are found deep in the mud off the Manhattan shoreline, museum curator Margo Green is called in to aid the investigation.
  3. The Cabinet of Curiosities – In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are thirty-six bodies – all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city.
    The nightmare has begun. Again.
  4. Still Life with Crows – A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America’s heartland. No one is safe.

The Diogenes trilogy

The next three books need to be read in order.

  

  1. Brimstone – A body is found in the attic of a fabulous Long Island estate. There is a claw print scorched into the wall, and the stench of sulfur chokes the air. When FBI Special Agent Pendergast investigates the gruesome crime, he discovers that thirty years ago four men conjured something unspeakable.
  2. Dance of Death – Two brothers. One a top FBI agent. The other a brilliant, twisted criminal. An undying hatred between them. Now, a perfect crime. And the ultimate challenge: Stop me if you can…
  3. The Book of the Dead – An FBI agent, rotting away in a high-security prison for a murder he did not commit. His brilliant, psychotic brother, about to perpetrate a horrific crime. A young woman with an extrodinary past, on th edge of a violent breakdown. An ancient Egyptian tomb with an enigmatic curse, about to be unveiled at a celebrity-studded New York gala… Memento Mori.

 

  1. The Wheel of Darkness – A luxury ocean liner on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic, awash in wealth and decadence. An ancient Tibetan box, its contents unknown, sealed with a terrifying warning. An FBI agent destined to confront what he fears most – himself…
  2. Cemetery Dance – William Smithback, a reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment. Eyewitnesses claim that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor – a man who was already dead and buried weeks earlier. While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta undertake their own private quest for the truth.

The Helen trilogy

The next three books need to be read in order.

  

  1. Fever Dream – Yesterday, Special Agent Pendergast still mourned the loss of his beloved wife, Helen, who died in a tragic accident in Africa twelve years ago. Today, he discovers she was murdered. Tomorrow, he will learn her most guarded secrets, leaving him to wonder: Who was the woman I married? Why was she murdered? And, above all… Who murdered her?
  2. Cold Vengeance – Devastated by the discovery that his wife, Helen, was murdered, Special Agent Pendergast must have retribution. But revenge is not simple. As he stalks his wife’s betrayers, he is also forced to dig further into Helen’s past. And he is stunned to learn that Helen may have been a collaborator in her own murder.
  3. Two Graves – When a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels-perpetrated by a boy who seems to have an almost psychic ability to elude capture-NYPD Lieutenant D’Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help. Reluctant at first, Pendergast soon discovers that the killings are a message from his wife’s kidnappers. But why a message? And what does it mean?

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  1. Extraction (Short Story) – Pendergast tells the story of how Diogenes and he encountered a local urban legend as children, a man acting as the Tooth Fairy.
  2. White Fire – In 1876, in a mining camp called Roaring Fork in the Colorado Rockies, eleven miners were killed by a rogue grizzly bear. Today, Corrie Swanson has arranged to examine the miners’ remains. When she makes a shocking discovery, town leaders try to stop her from exposing their community’s dark and bloody past. Just as Special Agent Pendergast arrives to rescue his protege, the town comes under siege by a murderous arsonist.
  3. Blue Labyrinth – A long-buried family secret has come back to haunt Pendergast. It begins with murder. One of Pendergast’s most implacable, most feared enemies is found on his doorstep, dead. Pendergast has no idea who is responsible for the killing, or why the body was brought to his home. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect crime, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased.
  4. Gaslighted: Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast (Short Story) – Pendergast wakes up in Stony Mountain Sanatorium and confronts himself with a great dilemma: is Slappy the Dummy part of his dream? Or is reality itself the dream of an insane man?
  5. Crimson Shore – Pendergast, together with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton. Pendergast and Constance soon learn that Exmouth is a town with a very dark and troubled history.

 

  1. The Obsidian Chamber – After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachusetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead. Sick with grief, Pendergast’s ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive – only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past. Proctor, Pendergast’s longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance’s kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown.
  2. City of Endless Night – When Grace Ozmian, the daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman’s body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found. Lieutenant CD’Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D’Agosta is delighted when Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case.
  3. Verses for the Dead – After an overhaul of leadership at the FBI, Pendergast is forced to work with a partner.With junior agent Coldmoon, they are assigned to Miami Beach, where a rash of killings by a bloodthirsty psychopath are distinguished by a confounding M.O.: cutting out the hearts of his victims and leaving them-along with cryptic handwritten letters.

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11 Comments

  1. Jim

    I read the books in the following order:
    -Cabinet Of Curiosities, Still Life With Crows, Relic, Reliquary. From that point on, I read them in order, starting with the DIogenes Trilogy. I found it the perfect way to introduce someone to this series. The first two books, in which Pendergast is not the main character, are a little tougher to get through than the rest. Get hooked on him in the CoC and SLWC, then fill in the gaps on certain characters by going to the beginning. Then you are ready for the first trilogy, which is amazing.

  2. Steve King

    I stumbled on this series just by accident. I am so glad I did. Started out with one of the novels in the middle somewhere and quickly found out that I needed to put it down and start from the beginning. What a treat! Started with RELIC and have graduated to the latest, CITY OF ENDLESS NIGHT. The Pendergast character is one of the best kept secrets in the series. Even when he is not in the story you might be reading or not in the part of the book you are reading, he continues to dominate the mind and makes one want him back in the “picture” as quickly as possible. The list of characters is unbelievable and when a new one is introduced they must meet a certain list of “qualities” to stay relevant…..they almost always do and one might find oneself starting to read faster to get to a part that a favorite character is in. Thank you for keeping me entertained all these years. I always recommend this series to friends in need of a good read….and I always start with RELIC! It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t now wouldn’t it!?!?!

  3. Warren

    I just finished the last of the 19 books including the short stories which I could only get from an audible source. I guess you could say I’m a huge Pendergast fan or maybe more of a Preston & Child fan. I checked out the books one at a time from the public library. Funny thing is that I had already read about half the books over the past 6 or 7 years. I didn’t remember them until certain events returned to my memory. I have thoroughly enjoyed going through the books in order. No matter the problem, you feel everything will be alright when Pendergast is present. I recommend these books for anyone with a mystery inclination or who just enjoy well written books that keep your constant attention.

  4. Darlene

    I thoroughly enjoy Scott Brick’s rendition of Pendergast. He moves in and out of characters with ease and you can tell when Pendergast comes onto the stage.

  5. Donna

    Just finishing with the complete series but, I have to admit, I didn’t start from Relic. I picked up an audio book on sale that looked interesting for the next road trip with my mother. I wasn’t sure if we would like it, but the jacket sounded good. WELL….. The book was Crimson Shore. I thoroughly enjoyed it every second I had to listen and was so ticked off at the end that I was swearing and saying, “No way does it end this way.” Well as soon as I got home I looked up the book praying that there was a sequel and, Thank GOD, there was. So I read the Obsidian Chamber and was so much happier. Not many writers can make me feel like this so I decided to look in my library to see if I could start at Relic. Not a book to be had, but they had the movie. So, I watched the movie, then moved on to Reliquary. I was hooked. I paid to read the first short story “Extraction” and now will pay again to read “Gaslighted” which will end the Pendergast series for me. Even though I didn’t start out with number 1 I am so glad that I bought Crimson Shore on audio. A big thank you to the authors on a job well done. I will my eye open for any future Pendergast novel.

  6. Pat Kingsmill

    Is there a book containing the story of Constance Green? I have read hints of her age and such, but the story of how she became a ward of the Pendergast Family has not been answered. or how she can look so young but be of older age. I may have missed these answers, and would like to be put on the right track.

    • Constance

      Constance was discovered hiding in the bowels of Enoch Leng’s abandoned mansion, which Pendergast now owns. Enoch was Pendergast’s great grand uncle, a deranged scientist who used her in his experiments to prolong life 130 years earlier.
      She is first hinted at in Cabinet of Curisoties.

    • Magdalena Sulowska

      More info about Contance Green and how she managed to stay so young – looking is in The Obsidian Chamber .

    • Stephanie

      The story you are looking for is in the book Two Graves. It’s the last book in the Helen trilogy. I just finished that book. The Helen trilogy is a story arc you wouldn’t want to miss. I always hate it when a Pendergast book ends.

  7. PAUL G

    PENDERGAST HAS THE DEDUCTION OF SHERLOCK,THE SMOOTHNESS OF ELVIS,THE EDGES OF AC DC BUT I BELIEVE MOST OF ALL HE KNOWS PEOPLE,THEIR MINDS.THEIR CABINETT OF CURIOSITIES IF YOU WILL ALLOW ME.

  8. Ellen Jefferies

    This has got to be the (one of the?) biggest “to be continued” serials ever written. Reading them is compulsive AND some of them have no good place to put it down and go to bed at a reasonable hour so you stay up reading all night

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